Outcasts alienated by their peers, Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead found each other in junior high, forming a tenuous friendship. Patricia was a budding witch and Laurence was a tech whiz, successfully developing a two-second time machine and a potentially sentient computer. But after a painful parting of ways, the two assumed they would never see each other again.
It’s best to get the main conceit of Jessica Chiarella’s debut novel, And Again, out of the way: four people with terminal conditions win a lottery that entitles them to participate in what’s called the SUB program. This is a program where their bodies are cloned and when they reach the biological age of the participants—which happens after a few months—their memories are transplanted wholesale into the new bodies.
“Eleanor has been ripped out of time . . .” Without that one little sentence on the cover, it would be easy, initially at least, to lose one’s genre bearings in the opening 70 pages or so of Jason Gurley’s Eleanor.
Time and space are as fluid as water in Keith Lee Morris’ labyrinthine third novel, his first since 2008’s brutal The Dart League King. This time, a family road trip goes awry in the small town of Good Night, Idaho thanks to a hotel that rivals The Shining’s, a book with which Travelers Rest will inevitably be compared, though there are more definitive answers here.
Several years ago, after researching his true crime book The Serial Killer’s Apprentice, James Renner was diagnosed with PTSD. It’s not uncommon for journalists to suffer such effects after witnessing trauma for a story, and Renner’s 10 years of hunting serial killers and writing about unsolved murders caught up with him. Fiction provided an unexpected safe haven, and his genre-bending time-travel thriller, The Man from Primrose Lane (2012), was a crime he could finally solve. His latest thriller, The Great Forgetting, digs at a much larger mystery, one with more questions, no generic answers and therefore plenty of room for an imaginative author to play. The result is a mix of conspiracy theorist paranoia, alternate history and cross-country adventure.
Author Catherynne M. Valente crafts a unique and vibrant world in her new novel, Radiance. Set in an alternate present where interplanetary travel was discovered at the turn of the 20th century, this story of secrets and scandals entertains and intrigues even as it explores what a single life can mean.
In Radiance, Catherynne M. Valente crafts a lush, detailed alternate history of Hollywood and a complex re-imagining of our solar system . . . and that’s just the beginning. Against that landscape, full of secrets, scandals and sci-fi awe, Valente weaves a tale of fathers and daughters, stories and truths, love and loss that is as much about the act of telling a story as it is about its characters.
Joseph Fink claims he’s calling from a New Jersey beach. I prefer to imagine that his spotty cell reception is actually because he’s calling from a dark bunker in an undisclosed location. That somehow seems more appropriate for a co-author of Welcome to Night Vale, the new novel based on the wildly popular podcast of the same name.
Given the title of C.A. Higgins’ debut novel, Lightless, it’s fitting that so much of the tale’s enjoyment stems from how well and how long it keeps the reader in the dark.
Jim Butcher's exciting new series is a steampunk-steeped, Napoleonic naval battle-flavored series called The Cinder Spires. True to the steampunk genre mandate, The Aeronaut’s Windlass has plenty of goggles (worn out of necessity, not mere fashion, natch), airships and Old World, aristocratic political structures.